Monday, 30 March 2009

Brighton Art & Design Guide - Boxbird

Boxbird Gallery & Studios
Art and Design Map

Artist Graham Carter and curator Alice Teague opened Boxbird in August 2008, after years of dreaming about opening their own art gallery to sell Graham’s work as well as work from all the talented illustrators and artists they knew and loved.

Alice and Graham moved to Brighton four years ago in search of a more vibrant arts scene. After a few years of living in Brighton the dream of a Boxbird seemed to really fit the town so they took a chance and went for it.

The space is a lovingly converted from a mechanics garage. Before Boxbird, it housed the Jewellery workshop Brass Monkeys but it needed a lot of work to make it into a smart gallery -
it has lovely big windows which allows great natural light into the gallery.

Boxbird have ignored the obvious Lane/North Laine locations for galleries in Brighton (because of space/cost considerations) and have ventured a little further afield and found themselves in an amazing street in Hove - St Johns Road was once the service buildings for Adelaide Crescent and the properties are all lovely old coach houses. Many other occupants are car mechanics who thought they were a bit mad opening an art gallery! but nestled among the grease monkeys are musicians, painters and graphic designers – Alice says St johns road is Hove’s best kept secret!

"The street is a brilliant community all of its own, it buzzes with activity during the week and at the weekends becomes a cut through for local residents – we get children, dogs, bikes and all sorts in the gallery on a Saturday!"

Being out of town enabled them to secure a large enough premises for Graham to have his own silkscreen equipment which has completely changed the way in which he can work and the scale too.

Before opening Boxbird Alice worked as the event manager for local children’s charity Rockinghorse for three years. She had also been working with Graham and other illustrators and artists on putting together and promoting the award winning Show Below for the Brighton Fringe Festival.

Graham has been illustrating for 10 years and has worked with some excellent clients including Orange, Saatch&Saatchi, Bupa and Graham is also one of the founding members of the celebrated illustration collective Peepshow. Graham is known in Brighton for his printmaking and he currently exhibits across the uk.

"We are just trying to create somewhere that people enjoy visiting and enjoy viewing art in. It is a working gallery so it’s often covered in paint and half finished prints which is what gives it its personality and energy.

Graham and I don’t enjoy the pretentious side of art and believe that buying art should be fun and get you excited. We don’t let people leave with a piece that they are never fully happy with and certainly don’t do the pushy sales bit!"

A combination of their skills and knowledge is what makes Boxbird so exciting and refreshing. Alice's organisational skills and passion for beautiful things and Graham’s talent makes Boxbird unique and somewhere people love coming to shop!

Customers are encouraged to see the equipment and they can often watch artists printing which helps them to understand the quality of the printing and the processes, time and effort that goes into each design.

Boxbird specialises in limited edition prints by emerging illustrators and printmakers. They have an eclectic selection of work offering something for everyone.

We have a massive variety of customers and no particular pattern to what they will buy! A large percentage seem to be artists themselves which is really nice. Because the work we sell is affordable it doesn’t alienate any age or income group. We had a bunch of art students come in last week and most of them took a goody away with them! We also have a lot of customers in New York which gives me great delight every time an order pops in! 

Boxbird currently represent 15 artists (including Graham) and in May will be adding a further 15 to that with a film based print exhibition CinemaScope. The show will introduce some emerging and graduate artists who will exhibit alongside Boxbird artists and invited artists such as Graham Rawle, Jon Burgerman and Jon Link (Modern Toss)

Graham Carter - Printmaker & illustrator
Zara Wood – Illustrator & Printmaker
Stuart Tolley – Art Director
Fiona Hewitt – Illustrator & Dumpling Dynasty creator
Ben Newman – Printmaker
Sam Chivers – Printmaker & Illustrator
Sallly Elford – Illustrator
Ruth Green – Printmaker
Ruth Munro – Illustrator
Anna Kyriacou – Fine Artist

Exhibitions 2009
March - Battersea Affordable Art Fair

May - Cinemascope as part of Brighton Fringe Festival - 35 artists producing new prints based on film.

June - illustrator Zara Wood is exhibiting a solo show of new prints and originals, inspired by her trip to the New York Natural History Museum and full of lots of lovely new characters.

July - Sam Chivers, printmaker extraordinaire is launching a solo show ‘Micromacro’.
"Sam is the kind of artist every gallery loves to represent because he is so excited about doing the show, and I think will really make use of all the space!!"

No comments: